Melissa Soderberg, Head of School
March 10, 2020

Dear Columbus Academy Families,

When I wrote to you at the end of last week (view message), there were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio, and as you know that status has changed within a matter of days. This letter shares with you the ways we will continue to safeguard the health of our community and attend to the guidelines of the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in their efforts to respond to and contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

PD DAY/NO CLASSES THIS FRIDAY

In a press conference this afternoon, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommended that schools like ours be prepared if circumstances continue to escalate and would cause us to close. While we are not intending to close -- or move to online content delivery except for the most unusual circumstances -- the faculty and staff do need time to prepare for the possibility that we may be asked to close. Therefore, the decision has been made to have this Friday, March 13, become a professional development day with no classes or students on campus to get us as prepared as we can be as soon as we can be. We would very much like to avoid such a scenario because what we do best is interacting with our wonderful students on this gorgeous campus every day, but the decision would most likely be out of our control.

This was not an easy decision, and we do not take cancelling a day of school lightly. Instead, our school leadership has carefully weighed the need to prepare our faculty and staff to be able to continue their good work with students under extraordinary circumstances, and this is the best available time.

SCHOOL TRIPS

Taking guidance from the CDC and following their recommendations for travel risk assessment (CDC Risk Assessment Levels), we are implementing a measured response to keep our community safe. The following school trips scheduled to take place this month have been cancelled to prevent us from sending large groups to other locations.
  • Senior Trip to Nashville
  • Athletic Trips to Florida over Spring Break
  • Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL) Convention
FAMILY TRAVEL

For anyone in our community who is traveling this month, we strongly encourage you to monitor travel alerts from the CDC and to remain attentive to the elevation of the risk assessment for individual countries. In fact, the CDC has recently sent out a warning specifically about cruises. Regardless of where you travel in the coming weeks, please remember to adhere to CDC guidelines for staying healthy and please stay home if you do not feel well. Your participation in the safety of our community is paramount.

AFTER BREAK

At this point in time, we fully intend for regular classes at school to resume on Monday, March 30, along with all extracurriculars and athletics (sports teams will be practicing here on campus during the week of March 23). However, we will be paying close attention to guidance and recommendations from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), which announced today that it will limit fans at upcoming indoor events.

RESOURCES

To find out more information about the virus, community members are encouraged to follow the tips and advice provided by the following organizations:
Thank you for your help as we do all we can to keep Academy a healthy learning environment for our students, faculty, staff and families.
 
Sincerely,
 
Melissa
Academy Seal